Blog · Jul 11, 2014

Creating High Performing Teams: 3 Key Features

High Performing Teams

There are numerous things that are important for teams to function well. Team rules, an understanding of what’s in it for us and the other team members, clear roles and responsibilities and leadership – these are all important, but they are not enough.

Even a clear goal is not enough. Yes it’s a critical start point, but from that start point there are 3 other things that are crucial to success. All high performing teams have them – and teams that want to perform highly need to acquire them.

3 key features of successful teams

1.    Mutual desire.

Everyone must want to achieve the goal and know what’s in it for them. Most people do things because they will benefit somehow, whether it be through a bonus, a feeling of pride, gratification or a sense of duty.

A team needs to have very clear goals – everyone must know what’s in it for them and how they will benefit from achieving the common goal. People need a good reason to take the difficult step of really committing to help their team members.

2.    Mutual Reliance.

Very simply, when push comes to shove most people won’t really go out of their way – continuously – to support and help others in a team environment unless they really need to. The goal needs to be clear  and everyone needs to know how they fit into it – and how everyone else fits into it as well.

Sports teams are easy – you know that if someone on your team is having a shocker, you will lose.  So you do what you can to support them. In business, the goals and the reliance upon each other needs to be just as clear.

3.    Measurability.

The Crazy goal is a critical start point. You need the aspirational goal, the thing that gives direction and that everyone buys into, the goals that allow people to share their mutual desire. But beyond that you need to be able to measure what you’re doing.

How much progress are you making? Are you moving in the right direction? How reliant are you on the others in your team?

Without a way to measure, the Crazy goals stay crazy… they remain a dream.

How clear is your Crazy goal?

At an entrepreneurs’ business show in London’s ExCeL last year, we surveyed people with the simple question –

‘How much clarity do you have on your organisation’s Crazy goal?’.

Less that 30% of people were clear about their Crazy goal. Yet many of those who said they were clear couldn’t articulate why it was important to them, let alone to the other people that they were working with. They also admitted that they couldn’t articulate what some of the other people in their teams did.

Without these simple building blocks it is very hard to foster any real team cohesion. The result? You normally end up with groups of people who work near each other, in silos or in splendid, ineffective  isolation.

If you want to develop as a team, put some precious time aside. Work through why are you doing what you’re setting out to do; make sure that you all know what you’ll get out of it when you achieve your goal; clarify why you need each other and how you will measure your success.

Organisations that successfully define their Crazy goal and bring their teams onboard can see spectacular success. Our performance consultancy work has many proven strategies and wonderful case studies as evidence of our success across a wide range of sectors.

Read how La Palette Rouge worked with the Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? principles and took their business to a different level.

Go Back to Insights